Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Travelling Europe: Island of Capri

So I could of made the Island of Capri into two posts, but I prefer to put it all in one, you'll just have to excuse the large quantity of photos, I couldn't help myself!! We spent our last full weekend on the Island of Capri. From Sorrento we got a midday ferry over and had a hotel booked for two days in Anacapri. If you ever go to Capri its so easy to get around. We definitely visited most of the island and managed to walk the majority! You have Capri which is the main part with plenty of luxury shops and expensive restaurants, then there's Anacapri which is slightly smaller with the same kind of shops, but a lot quieter compared to the busy Capri, and then there is Marina Grande which is where all the ferries from all over Italy arrive and unload the tourists in their hundreds. 
When we got off the ferry we decided to head straight to our hotel to drop off our bags, we got to experience the crazy crush of the small island buses ( the smallest buses you will ever see filled to the brim with people). Because the island was small there was a simple no cars rule, only buses, pimped out taxis and scooters. Its funny because you could see the wealth difference so easily. Those who paid extra to hire a convertible, cushioned taxi, those who (like us) paid a couple of euros to get squished into a bus, and those of course who spend all day sunbathing on their giant super-yacht, and just take a smaller boat inland when they want to. 
That afternoon we headed out to see the Arco Naturale, one of Capri's beautiful landmarks. It was lovely hours walk from Capri through the lanes of the wealthy with stunning flowers along the paths, cacti on every corner and windowsill and not a vehicle in sight. On arrival however we realised the Arc was all scaffolded up, due to restoration work needed to prevent it collapsing!! It was such a shame we couldn't experience it's incredible beauty. Instead we continued walking on around the coast until we can across the Faraglioni Islands, another landmark of the island but one that attracted the giant boats more so to anchor up around them and use a private beach in between the islands. We decided to walk down to the beach and take a dip in the sea, which was really pleasant although everyone seemed really rich and beautiful (and there were a few that just seemed to pretend they fitted in haha). We then continued on our back to Capri with the plan of then catching a bus back to Anacapri, but when we tried to get onto the bus we realised we had lost some money and basically had to walk home. It was pretty straight forward, there was only one path and a hell of a lot of stairs up the bloody mountain that Anacapri was on (just our luck hey!) it was quite ridiculous how steep we climbed. But we got some magnificent views from it and got to figure out the island a little bit more. That evening we had dinner in a lovely restaurant hidden from the naked eye down a long path into a garden. It was lovely and really delicious! 
The next day the morning began stormy, we took our time in the morning and then got a bus to Capri to find a place to hire a scooter. We got a good offer that allowed us to keep the scooter until 7pm and soon wizzed off to spend another day exploring. The first place we headed to was the west side of the island to the Faro Lighthouse. Using our Amalfi Coast hiking guide book I'd found a walk we could do along the coast, so we parked the scooter by the lighthouse and began our walk along the rocky coastline. It was so humid that day I remember, because it was cloudy yet we were sweating so much! Along the way we found steps down to a cove where you could swim easily, we clambered down and dove in, cooling down from the sticky heat. We then continued our walk until we got too hungry and with no where to get food in sight (we thought there would be) began our walk back to the scooter. We were starving at this point and drove straight back to Anacapri to find a cheap lunch of anything. 
With our bellies filled we decided to head to the Grotta Azzura, a stunning cave system that reflected a dazzling deep blue light when inside the cave. On arrival we noticed that tour boats that would usually be able to enter the cave, were dotted about outside it and not entering. The water had risen so high that you could only enter by swimming through. Great! We put our belongings inside the scooter and dove straight into the water, minding our heads as the waves of the sea pushed us through the mouth of the cave. It was so incredible being inside, it opened out to a ginormous space that - once our eyes adjusted - we could see continued on into further rooms of caves, it was amazing. We swam further and further in, keeping an eye on the entrance incase the water was getting too high. On turning around to face the entrance we could see what gave the cave its name - the amazing blue light that shone from deep in the watery depths and literally lit up the water we were swimming in. It was unlike anything I've seem before! How I wish we had had a camera with us then and there to capture its unusual light. We swam about a bit for a while, enjoying the eery feel of the echoing cave. 
That evening after giving the scooter back to the rental shop we walked around Capri until we found a small restaurant that didn't seem to busy. We had a delicious meal and spent the darkening hours talking until we had to take the last bus back to Anacapri. 
Entering the final week we had kind of left a question mark on what to do and where to go. Since we had spent a brief hour in Rome earlier on we decided to head back there for a day before deciding where to go next. It was quite nice spontaneously planning where to head next, but by now we had to be thinking where we would have to fly from to get home and that meant the countdown had begun :(




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